Yesterday I decided it was time to take some extra steps in our spring cleaning. In addition to shedding blade madness it is now bath time as well. Nothing is more satisfying than scrubbing away winter grime. We certainly have plenty of days during the winter months when you could give a bath, but it is almost completely pointless so I typically don’t bother. I bathed a few of the gray horses a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t accomplish much. They still had way too much hair, the shedding process needed to be further along.
Eight horses had a serious scrub session with soap, sponges and curry combs all being put to use. Amy had the washrack in the barn and I used the hose in front of the barn. In addition to their body scrub we also cleaned and conditioned tails, they got the works. All of the horses were very cooperative although a few let us know that although they were cooperating, they preference was to NOT have a bath!
We started with Lily and Buffy, both gray mares. Amy had Buffy in the washrack and I had Lily in front of the barn. The big disadvantage I had in using the hose in front of the barn is I don’t have anywhere to tie the horses. Lily started off by trying to take full advantage of this. We had a brief chat in which I attempted to let her know that her life truly was not that bad, and that if a bath was the worst thing she had to deal with in life then she had it pretty good. She decided she agreed with me and proceeded to ground tie nicely and stand quietly for her scrubbing. Lily ended up being soaped up twice much to her chagrin, but she felt so soft and clean after she had dried.
Amy reported that Buffy was squirmy at first as well but then accepted her fate. Buffy only needed one soapy scrub. Being the girly girl that she is Buffy doesn’t tend to be one that cakes herself in mud and didn’t require nearly as much scrubbing.
Next up were two chestnuts, Dustin and Leo. Amy bathed Dustin and I bathed Leo. Dustin can be hit or miss with baths but yesterday he was a perfect gentleman. I always know I can count on Leo to be a good boy. He slooooowly turned in a circle as a I bathed him and I just went with him. He wasn’t actually trying to go anywhere but was just looking around so I went along with his plan.
Ivan and Apollo were up next. Ivan required the super scrub and had to be bathed twice. His tail took some serious scrubbing. Like Lily and Buffy, Ivan is a gray so it takes a lot more work to get a good final product! Apollo provided us with some entertainment for the day. He stuck his nose in the bucket with my soapy water hoping for food. Instead he had giant soap bubbles on his nose. He proceeded to stick his nose in the air and fling it around, sending soap bubbles flying everywhere. He found that so entertaining he stuck his nose back in the soap bucket and did it again.
We finished up with two more grays, Asterik and Traveller. Bathing five gray horses in one day is not for the faint of heart!! Asterik hates being in the barn and separated from his pals but he could not have been better. Traveller loves to be groomed and bathed so he was soaking up every minute of it. Again they both required the double bath complete with curry comb scrubbing. At this point the humans also looked like we’d had baths so we called it a day. We’ll have many more bath days to come!
I didn’t even have time to turn my camera on and get a “clean” picture of Ivan after he went outside. He stopped, dropped and rolled immediately upon removal of his halter. But look at how sparkling white the other side is – I guess I technically did get a picture where half of him was clean!
All of that work and nothing to show for it. He could pass for a pinto!
Apollo stood ground tied like a perfect gentleman for his bath
Lily post bath. Lily had the super woolly yak coat this winter, she definitely won the prize for thickest, longest winter coat. We’ve made good progress on her neck, shoulders, topline and hindquarters in the shedding process. Her barrel and stomach are still very hairy though.
Afternoon grazing. Lucky, Clay, Lightening, Chili, Slinky and Mr. O’Reilly
Some of the trees are really starting to leaf out. This is a leisurely process here and will continue on for a few weeks. Those little horsey specks are Tony, Chance and Elfin. Trigger is cut off on the far right.
Missy, Buffy and Lily paying absolutely no attention to the Canada goose wandering in front of them